Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case. (Photo Credit: PTI file)
The wife of Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, has filed for a divorce petition in a local court in Bihar's Aurangabad, a move seen as another ploy to delay their execution on March 20. In the petition, Punita said she does not want to live the life of a widow as her husband is set to be hanged. The court has posted the matter for March 19, reported news agency IANS.
“My husband is innocent. I want to be legally divorced before he is hanged," Punita said.
Punita's lawyer Mukesh Kumar Singh, speaking to media in Aurangabad said, "My client (Akshay Kumar Singh's wife Punita Singh) has a right to seek divorce from her husband. That is why I have filed a plea in the family court. She has the right to seek divorce under Section 13(2)(II) of Hindu Marriage Act which says a woman can seek divorce if the husband has, since the solemnisation of the marriage, been guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality."
“Yes, the woman can file for divorce if her husband has been convicted in a case of rape,” IANS quoted a senior lawyer at Tis Hazari court in Delhi as saying.
On March 5, a trial court issued fresh warrants with March 20, 5.30 am, as the date for the execution of convicts Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31).
On Tuesday, a Delhi court on Tuesday dismissed the plea of Mukesh Singh, one of the four death row convicts, seeking quashing of his death penalty. Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana dismissed Singh's plea claiming he was not in Delhi on the day of the incident.
The plea claimed that Singh was arrested from Rajasthan and brought to Delhi on December 17, 2012, and was not present in the city on December 16, when the crime took place.
The public prosecutor told the court that Singh's plea is frivolous and a tactic to delay the scheduled hanging. The plea also alleged that Singh was tortured inside the Tihar jail.
A 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as 'Nirbhaya' (fearless), was gang raped and savagely assaulted in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. She died after a fortnight.